Room with a view

Mike Fleury gets artsy.

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Construction may have already started, but Tuesday marked the official unveiling of the design for the new Nova Scotia College of Art and Design building, being built on the waterfront near Pier 21. The project is part of the Halifax Port Authority’s Seawall Redevelopment project.

“The building is a work of art in itself,” says Suzanne Jordan, spokesperson for the college. The unveiling ceremony featured 3D renderings of the new building, floorplans and a scale model of the final design.

“It’s a very large building. We take up a whole shed, which works out to roughly 70,000 square feet,” says Jordan. “The most impressive part, for sure, is the eastern facade of the building. Facing the harbour, it’s entirely made of glass windows.”

Other elements of the design, created by Gottingen-based firm Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple, have been designed with versatility in mind. The majority of the walls inside the building will be movable, allowing spaces to be easily converted from classrooom to showroom.

“We’re also gaining new a metal shop and wood shop, brand new state of the art kilns…it’s really outstanding,” explains Jordan. “When it’s completed, this will probably be one of the best facilities for visual art education in Canada.”

And then, of course, there’s the view.

“The front facade is going to be encased in zinc, then perforated. So, at nighttime, the light will shine though—which they were able to simulate with the model,” says Morgan. “It’s quite an amazing effect.”

The building should be complete by spring 2007.

Daily grind

In other news (bad pun intended), Jack Romanelli takes over as managing editor at the sometimes-troubled Daily News this month. Romanelli spent a good portion of his career working for the Montreal Gazette. He had been the managing editor at the Gazette before being fired from the paper in 2004. He’s spent the last 15 months at the Cornwall Standard Freeholder, and now he comes to Halifax.

Over the past few years, our beloved Daily has seen its share of morale problems and tension between writers and management—but then, so has Romanelli. In a very public dispute in 2003, veteran Gazette reporter and columnist Sue Montgomery was suspended for two weeks after writing a story about a Montreal nanny agency that fired an employee for refusing to get an abortion. Romanelli and Gazette management said Montgomery had committed an unforgivable journalistic sin by not calling the agency to get their side of the story—hence, the forced vacation. Montgomery later admitted that calling the agency for a comment probably would have been a good idea. Still, many journalists in Quebec rallied around Montgomery, and Gazette management was accused of using the incident as an excuse to try and silence Montgomery for her often outspoken political opinions.

Call it an ugly public dispute, a vindictive managerial smack-down or an entirely appropriate response. In any case, both sides came off awfully bitter. For the sake of our colleagues at the Daily News, hope the atmosphere in the Romanelli newsroom isn’t normally so uncomfortable.

And, in late-breaking news, allnovascotia.com reports that Chronicle-Herald staffer Dan Leger is being promoted to become the paper’s new director of news content. Two big shakeups in the news world, folks. Will I be similarly replaced by next week? Stay tuned…

Shake me up. Email: mikef@thecoast.ca

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